Life With Horace

poetry & essays


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A kiss when it’s clear

I was convinced she would never leave
even though the truth of it
ran alongside faster
as she slowed
in the end a quiet moment
took the comfort of her large dog self
and tucked it in the sky
now her gaze is a soft kiss
when the stars are watching

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We go outside to say hello on clear nights, Horrie and I.


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Mountain top

Stars began to drop
into the growing dark
of a clear night sky
as I came down
the mountain
to our woods
the trail familiar
boots sure in waning light

I went up alone
wanting the feel of you
knowing you would ride
the swirl of wind
on every peak
including mine

I sat waiting, the
wolf burn bare granite
still comfort warm
close to sunset
my words escaping
into the rising drafts
as song, wait for me
I will be there given time




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Among giants

At night the woods world
rises up in vast formation
as the dogs and I
walk among giants
in the cool cocoon
of my headlamp
They are eager
oblivious of our escorts
seeing with their noses
unaware that we are not alone
Sunless, the axis of this space
has tilted on its side
there are no open reaches
to the mountain base
well known trees or brook cuts
calling birds or fresh
snow yielding fox tracks
The quiet that blankets
sight and thought
is only in my head
this place is never voiceless
even in deep winter
I follow in the wake
of wagging tails
and steaming breath
breaking trail into the dark


___________________________________
Originally published in Dancer in the Mist, 2015
Revised 12/2020


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Thinning time

Seven mornings in a row
the early eastern light
has snatched me away from sleep
filling my eyes with huge slashes
of sunrise, dark angry and pink
The first was on samhain, and
I could see the hand of Rage
reaching slyly toward the thinning 
scrim of time’s divide
its camp follower Fire hoping
to slip through alongside
compressed to nothing
like the soft bones of mice
The whispers of my genes begged
shout No and cry many tears
They will thicken the dawn
refusing entry to this surfeit of evil
All you love depends on them

Audio: Read by the author.



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Floaters

High summer
in an old house
occupied by an army
of visiting bugs
brings dreams
of parachutes
for those I must evict
The one too many ones
the wrong kind of spider
a waving scuttler
scooped up
all elbowed legs
and angled hairy parts 
Then I run
the mercy packet
to the door
flung open to release
the tissue wrapped
passenger
and watch it float
down to sanctuary
on a bed
of violet leaves 

 

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A very old house. In the winter we have critters. Summer brings the bugs The right kind of spiders? Thin bodied long-legged spiders that look like Charlotte.